Tag:LeBron James
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 1:59 pm

LeBron biographer hoped for career-ending injury

Posted by Ben Golliverlebron-james-ground

In case you missed it, LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat during the summer of 2010, turning the NBA world upside down, eliciting hate from the state of Ohio and causing two men, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and writer Scott Raab, to lose their minds.

Both Gilbert and Raab sought refuge with pen and pad. Gilbert wrote a vicious open letter to Cavaliers fans accusing James of betrayal and promising that the Cavaliers would would win a title before the Heat. Raab took that concept approximately 1,459 steps further, deciding to write a book about James, titled The Whore of Akron, and his first year in South Beach.

Esquire.com has released an excerpt from the book. Not surprisingly, the excerpt pulls no punches, mocking James for his receding hairline, his failure to deliver in clutch situations, his decision to play second fiddle to Dwyane Wade and the fact that he is playing in a town that doesn't care about basketball.  

Raab does make one fairly startling statement: he wanted James to suffer a debilitating injury.
This is where LeBron James wants to play basketball, in front of sun-dried cretins who must be bribed to act as if they care about the game and the team. Where another superstar already is the Man in the locker room and on the court; where nobody in the media will ever mention his collapse against Boston, his phantom elbow pain, and his steadfast refusal to hold himself accountable for his team's big-game failures.

For as long as I've been a fan, I've rooted hard against certain teams and players, but never have I hoped to see a career-ending injury — until tonight.

Aside from death and cancer, that's as low as you can go in sportswriting.

But this clearly wasn't an accidental step down a worm hole. The excerpt reads a bit like a self-loathing confession, as Raab details how sorry he feels for himself for being overweight and lays out his prescription medication cocktail of choice for the world to see. The deep personal hatred for James falls under that same umbrella, as the author stands as an obvious symbol of the wreckage James left when he chose to abandon Cleveland for Miami.

How bad was The Decision? So bad a grown man readily admits that he wants a life-altering catastrophe as revenge.

It's a nauseating but ultimately effective device. By the end of the chapter the reader understands this isn't going to be your garden variety James rant. The Whore of Akron promises to go to darker, more disturbing places. This has the makings of a Bible for LeBron haters. Of course, it also has the makings of a restraining order.
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:52 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 6:01 pm

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to launch 'urban casinos'

Posted by Ben Golliverdan-gilbert

Is Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert the biggest gangster in the NBA?

That might seem like a loaded question, but Gilbert did make his fortune off of sketchy, subprime home loans and now has ambitious plans to extend his sphere of influence with an interstate gambling business.

Cleveland.com reports that Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans, is a principal in a new gambling investment company that plans to open "high-style, up-scale urban casinos" in Ohio and Maryland.
Rock Gaming LLC, a powerful new force in the gambling industry that has teamed up with Caesars Entertainment Corp. to develop casinos in Cleveland, Cincinnati and now, possibly, Baltimore. They submitted an application - and a check for $22.5 million - to Maryland officials late last month to develop a slot machine-only casino near the city's Inner Harbor with Caesars and two local investors. They are considered to be the frontrunner for the project.

Their big bet: that their concept of a high-style, up-scale "urban" casino that feeds on the character of a city and its attractions as much as on its slot machines will make them wildly successful and, in the process, revitalize rust belt cities.

"We think the right way to go is to do good and do well," said Matt Cullen, a Rock Gaming principal who's second in command of Gilbert's family of 39 companies. "But there's no question it's a risk."
Nothing says "revitalizing the rust belt" quite like investing in the most exploitative industries known to man. All Gilbert needs to do now is nickname himself after a semi-automatic weapon and launch a chain of brothels and he will have completed the 1930s-era gangster grand slam. Check Boardwalk Empire next week for a cameo appearance; Gilbert will be playing himself.

Gilbert is best known in NBA circles as the man who came completely unhinged when former Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James decided to "take his talents" to the Miami Heat during the summer of 2010. He penned an open letter calling James' decision "heartless and callous" and accused him of "disloyalty" for his "shameful display of selfishness and betrayal." Gilbert is also widely mocked for exclusively using the comic sans font.

Hat tip: IAmAGM
Posted on: October 17, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 6:05 pm

Magic Johnson rips LeBron, jokingly

Posted by Royce Young

"There will always be great players in basketball," Magic Johnson told a crowd in Albany, New York. "There's always going to be guys who win championships in the NBA. Except LeBron. Don't be mad."

Burn. I guess at least he didn't make fun of his hairline.

Magic continued: "Everybody's always asking, 'who is better between Kobe and LeBron'? I'm like 'are you kidding me? Kobe five championships, LeBron zero. I love the young man though. I know he's going to get better this year in the fourth quarter."

Then as it goes in every roast where someone wraps up their slamming by backing off and saying how awesome the person is, Magic backed off. "No, I'm not hating on LeBron. He's a triple-double threat every single game and he's going to get better. Anyway"

If you just read these quotes, you'd think Magic was shredding LeBron. But really, for his speech, he was just breaking out a little standup routine and the punchline appeared to be LeBron. But it's all for the sake of a laugh and Magic, as he often did, delivered right on the money.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 10:32 pm

LeBron says he misses Cleveland fans

By Matt Moore

Let's not waste your time. LeBron James was taking questions from fans today and actually answering them. I think only two of them included the word "fam" too. Lots of exclamation marks, but hey, it's a start. 

And then, this.


Yeah, that should go over well.

Maybe he's feeling nostalgic. Thing is, he doesn't gain anything by saying that. Cleveland's never going to forgive him. He knows that. Maybe it's just part of his rehabilitation act. But he's not talking about the lockout. He's just taking questions, and with the fact he spends so much time in Akron makes you wonder. He left Cleveland. And he abandoned the franchise and the fans. But that doesn't necessarily mean the state's dead to him. 

Yeah, that's not going to go over well.  
Posted on: October 15, 2011 12:00 am

EOB Roundtable: Lockout Winners and Losers

By Matt Moore

Matt Moore:So who, individually is winning and losing the lockout? My brief list. 
Winners: David West, Greg Oden (rehab). Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash (age). Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade (image). 
Losers: Rookies (obv.). DeAndre Jordan ($$$$$). 
Royce Young: Derek Fisher. I think he's increased his image as the statesman of the NBA. I don't know how good a job he's really doing, but he always comes across as measured, professional and calm. The guy's in the twilight of his NBA career, but his performance as president of the union is going to net him a pretty sweet gig after he retires, I think. Front office exec? Coach? The next Billy Hunter? I could see basically anything for Fisher. 

Ben Golliver: I hate to say it but I think LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are big winners here. No one entered the offseason with more motivation to bring their A-game to the 2011-2012 season after that jenga collapse in the Finals. As the lockout dragged on, the usual motivating factors for the average player disappeared. Watching these guys workout, play in exhibition games, etc. it's clear they will be ready to go from day one. They will blitz some people hard out of the gate and should stack up enough victories early to get the rest they wanted before last year's playoffs. Same thing, to a lesser extent, goes for Kevin Durant, who has just been a maniac.

Of the younger guys, I like what John Wall and Brandon Jennings did to increase their exposure. Whether that counts for anything long-term is anyone's guess. Both elevated their profile for sure. I still like what Deron Williams and Ty Lawson did, accepting the challenge of a different lifestyle and continuing to play in competitive leagues. Williams took a significantly bigger risk, but as long as he comes home without injury he will be a winner in my eyes. Zigging when everyone zags deserves some kudos. Props to Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas and the other rookies that went back to school. We get on people for jumping too early but never give the round of applause for guys who get back on the diploma track.

They are bigger picture winners.

Eddy Curry is the biggest loser of the lockout and, really, of life. Scratching from exhibition games is really the bottom of the barrel. Same thing goes for Michael Beasley and Matt Barnes and their idiotic antics. Nobody needs any of that. Beasley caught a break when Rick Adelman got hired. He is about to get a great coach. Let's see if he embraces or squelches this opportunity. Take a guess at which is more likely. 
Matt Moore: I'd argue Deron's a loser. He made the money but admitted it's been hard on the family and they're not winning and the attendance is terrible. As the biggest star to go he was under pressure to convert that opportunity into success. Making the money, which is always dicey overseas, doesn't make up for the other problems and the lack of impact. 

Ben Golliver: If it was that bad he would have left. He's said its brought his family closer together and has been a one-in-a-lifetime experience. I think we can take him at his word about that.

Royce Young:I definitely agree with that, Matt. Deron messed up, in my mind. The Besiktas deal really didn't turn out to be all that lucrative and instead of pimping his profile here in the charity pro-am games, he's toiling away in Turkey in front of half empty arenas. What's so great about that?  If it was just intended to be a family vacation, good for him, but I don't know why you can't just go to Turkey. Why sign to play for Besiktas? He got less than other superstars because he signed so early and I don't think he's really gained a whole lot out of it otherwise. 

Matt Moore: Also, if we're talking bigger picture winners, no player is a winner because they lost a bazillion dollars between negotiations and lost paychecks.

Ben Golliver: Name one player who made more money playing basketball during the lockout than Deron Williams.

Royce Young: I don't think that's the point though. He didn't make all that much in relative terms, plus hasn't benefitted as much as some other players that stayed here. Williams is a star player. And he's the only star that signed overseas. Don't you think that's a little weird? 

Ben Golliver: Not at all. He was in a unique situation with his contract extension coming up, with an open mind, a desire to see the world and make money, and a team that would give him a max contract even if he broke both his legs because they already mortgaged the franchise for him. Why single someone out for criticism because he made a unique choice that will prove to be in his best interests as long as he doesn't get hurt (and could still be in his best interests even if he does)? This was a great way to get back in shape after an injury, it took guts, he's getting rewarded and he is living life on his own terms, not those of the NBA owners. He's not begging fans to let him play on Twitter, he proactively sought a deal that will pay him more than any other player during the down time and will be ready to go when the NBA is back. It wasn't a decision many stars could make but there were good reasons behind it and he showed courage. That makes him a winner to me. 
Posted on: October 14, 2011 4:49 pm

NFL players don't think LeBron has what it takes

Posted by Royce Young

LeBron's assuredly not going to play in the NFL. (Right?) And he's probably getting a big kick out of everyone talking about it as if he could or would.

That chatter made it all the way to NFL players being asked about LeBron's chances to succeed in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (that's how you say it, right?) and the consensus is: He couldn't cut it.

Via Fox Sports Ohio, Bengals corner Leon Hall put it simply: “It wouldn’t be easy. I recommend he keep his NBA contract and just play the Madden video games if he misses football.”

Bengals safety Chris Crocker put it this way: “There aren’t many guys with the athleticism and strength LeBron has in any sport. But I also think guys pick the sports they pick for a reason. Just like (Chad) Ochocinco thinks he’s a soccer player until he gets up close and sees how skilled pro soccer players really are, there’s nothing easy about the NFL."

That's true. But some guys have the ability to blur the lines of sport-specific ability. Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, former baseball player Brian Jordan -- it can be done. And LeBron's certainly one of those guys with athletic ability just oozing out of him. If anyone in today's professional world could pull it off, LeBron would probably be your guy.

Except one Ohio native isn't buying it, but not because of LeBron's lack of football ability. Between the ears, says former Ohio State and pro linebacker Chris Speilman.

Spielman said on Ohio radio that LeBron is the "greatest athlete I've ever seen," but that's not the problem.

"He's the mentally weakest person I've ever seen," Spielman said.

Ouch. That's got to sting. Because being labeled as mentally weak isn't exactly something that the LeBron Legacy wants attached to it. Granted, it's Chris Speilman who probably isn't sure what the difference between a three-second violation and a three-point shot are, but still, athletes know athletes. And Speilman's the type of guy that typically knows of what he speaks.

I think LeBron could make it in the NFL. Professional football is about speed and overall athletic ability. If you've got it, you can cut it. And LeBron's got as much as anyone. I mean, he did just fine in Madden, so why wouldn't that translate?

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:50 pm

LeBron James gets custom Liverpool FC jersey

Posted by Ben Golliverlebron-james-liverpool

From football jersey to futbol jersey.

On Wednesday, the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, desperate for attention, had head coach Pete Carroll deliver a customized jersey to Miami Heat forward LeBron James on Twitter. Within 48 hours, James had moved on to a much more popular team in a different sport.

On Friday, James posted a photo on Twitter of a customized red Liverpool Football Club jersey with his first name and his jersey No. 6 on the back.

Back in April, James and his LRMR sports marketing firm acquired a minority stake in Liverpool FC by striking a deal with Fenway Sports Group, a company that owns both Liverpool and MLB's Boston Red Sox.

James tweeted that he toured Anfield, Liverpool's home stadium, before Saturday's match against Manchester United. The clubs are two of the Premier League's biggest powers and among soccer's most popular and venerable franchises.

"Ready for the big match tomorrow," James said. I can't wait!!! Amazing."

As of Friday, Manchester United sat tied for first in the Premier League's tables with a record of six wins, one draw and no losses. Liverpool was in fifth place with a record of four wins, one draw and two losses.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:16 pm

NBA Roundtable: LeBron in the NFL?

By Matt Moore

When LeBron James took to Twitter this week to ask ESPN's John Clayton about the last date a player can sign with an NFL team as a free agent, the world went nuts. James was an All-State wide receiver in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary's his junior year before committing full-time to basketball his senior season. He made an All-State ad where he appeared as a Browns receiver. He's known to love playing Madden. He frequently comments on the NFL. With the NBA lockout seemingly nowhere near a conclusion, could James actually be considering putting on cleats? Is he out of his "Decision"-making mind?

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll asked the Heat star if he knew how much rookies make in the NFL. James responded with "more than I'm making now," which of course fails to factor all of his income outside of his Heat salary, but nonetheless.Carroll was enthused. The Seahawks followed up Wednesday by producing a Twitter image of a Seahawks jersey for James. The King approved.

Debate has centered around whether James is skilled enough to make it on an NFL field, whether he's tough enough, whether he's brave enough. The more relevant argument, the one that ends it in totality is that James has guaranteed money coming to him from the Heat once the lockout ends, over $16 million per season, money that he would be risking with a stint in the NFL no matter how brief. Furthermore, there has been no indication that NFL officials would even grant a locked-out NBA player eligibility, though there could be legal challenges if James or any other player wanted to push the issue enough.

Our brethren at Eye on Football already explored the idea through the virtual world of Madden.

But still we wanted to consider the possibility of this dream, and what it would be like if the most polarizing figure in the NBA jumped to the gridiron. So we vomited it up in an email thread.

Matt Moore: So we know the reasons this won't happen. But let's treat it like us getting games before Jan.1. As a dream. What position do you see him at? What team? I love the idea of him as a Wildcat QB. He's got the arm. Everyone talks about the problem with progressions, but the man navigates bounce passes in traffic at full speed 10 times a night. He obviously wouldn't block. But Brinson put him as a receiving tight end. What do you think?

I also really want him to play for the Browns. It would just show how fickle fans are and how much people love football in this country. Plus every other team would be aiming to take his block off. that would be interesting.

Ben Golliver: I don't think you're totally crazy with the wildcat QB idea, although I'd like to see that in third-and-short and goal line situations more than anything, where you could really take advantage of his extension, explosiveness and potentially his leaping ability. I think as a quarterback in regular situations, he becomes a big target and he wouldn't have enough nearly enough passing skills and ability to read the defense to keep teams honest for four quarters. I guess I like him a lot better in space, either as a tight end or even a wide receiver. As I mentioned Wednesday night, his combination of height, size, speed, wingspan and athletic skills make him a match-up nightmare at the tight end position. He'd have to learn to take a hit, for sure, but if you're running him on crossing patterns and rolling your QB out, there's not a player in the NFL who can stay with him sideline-to-sideline and elevate high enough to disrupt a pass to him. At the goal line, lining him up outside for the jump ball fade would be an obvious strategy. He's winning that or commanding double coverage and opening things up elsewhere, no questions asked.

Royce Young: I only think it's natural that he plays wide receiver. To me, LeBron would just be the next Megatron. Big, strong and fast with great hands. He's played there before, is comfortable in that spot and would be really good, I think. Just makes sense.

A wildcat QB would be interesting, but I don't think LeBron's going to want to get hit. Which if he's just a third down receiver, he could catch his pass and get down quickly.

But if he were to be willing to play physical, how about him at defensive end? I mean, he's 6-8, 260. That's about the same size as Jared Allen (6-6, 270) and just a little lighter than Mario Williams (6-6, 290). LeBron would have incredible footwork and of course would be fast off the ball. If he was willing to hit, he could tear up some left tackles.

Moore: It's weird that everyone thinks he wouldn't want contact.

The bus isn't afraid of running over the deer. I think Wildcat in short yardage he could be killer.

Also, James> Tebow, we can all go ahead and agree on that, right?

Golliver: It just speaks to the nature of the sports -- basketball has devolved to the point where selling calls is a crucial part of games, especially late in games and especially in the postseason. If you put him in a sport where any form of weakness is discouraged and mocked I think we would see him evolve pretty quickly.

We haven't really decided what position he is best suited for psychologically. He's a playmaker in the NBA which would lead you to think he would be a QB but he's not totally reliable and has issues with making the right decisions when the stakes are highest. You want him running your 2-minute drill? You could argue that his level of fame, self-confidence (ego), and entourage combine to make him suited only for the wide receiver position, but that clashes with his expectations for his own usage rate, doesn't it? Come to think of it, he would be demanding the ball on every play a la Randy Moss within about four weeks, wouldn't he? Tight end -- the keep your head down, work hard all day, who cares about the credit position -- seems like one of the worst possible fits. Royce's idea of defensive end, a spot where he would be encouraged to throw chalk up in the air for his sack dance, actually makes a lot of sense from this standpoint.

Young: Well I guess it's that I can't entirely detach myself from reality. LeBron's not going to want to get hurt so if he played football, he'd want a position where he could be kept largely safe.

My thinking is though, wherever LeBron was, I think he'd be good. He just strikes me as a guy that's going to succeed pretty much anywhere. Defensive back, defensive end, tight end, wide receiver, fullback -- I don't think it necessarily matters. In football, superathletes rule the day and that's what LeBron is. He's like Jevon Kearse -- a freak.

Speaking of, maybe that's my natural comparison for LeBron at defensive end. The Freak 2.0. Like Ben said, complete with stupid celebratory sack dance.

Moore: He'd be a killer corner. Tackle people smaller than him. Yell at them when they drop it.

Wait, does Kevin Garnett want to play?
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